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Walk your way to fitness in 2021!
During the Winter months it's usually more difficult to maintain fitness in that there are less daylight hours in which to get outside. But leaving the house to pursue a physical activity, however simple, can act as a genuine mood booster.
Walking to the shops or in the countryside has become a familiar way of life to many since Covid times given it’s one of the few activities that’s been easy to do during both lockdowns. Keeping this going is to be recommended however easy the temptation to stay indoors. The craze for fitbits and measuring the amount of steps done each day is still very much on trend. The recommended amount of 10,000 steps does take some doing if done in one chunk. In theory it equates to about eight kilometres or an hour and 40 minutes walking, depending on your stride length and walking speed. So maybe the sensible thing to do if working from home is to divide that into chunks in conjunction with work breaks during the day to refresh the mind and body.
One of the many important elements to consider when striding outdoors is what to wear. Comfort and warmth, especially in winter, are big factors. Layering garments is a good way to provide extra insulation against the elements - and on top why not design a personalised hoodie which can look extra cool with an embroidered logo or by just picking some words which describe your goal - ‘keep walking keep happy X’ is motivational and provides purpose whenever you look at it!
A coat is also more or less a given in Winter & again the same criteria applies to a design your own fleece or softshell jacket for example. This garment looks great with a hoodie underneath & of course if it does rain then you have a hood to hand.
The value of breathing in untainted fresh air has come to the fore due to the Covid crisis. Picnics outside being recommended likewise opening windows wherever possible. Another outside activity which provides immediate benefits to well being and psychological health is gardening. If you’re lucky enough to have access to a garden of your own, or an allotment or indeed even a window box the power of touching earth and planting can give huge feelings of reward. “In this era of virtual worlds and fake facts, the garden brings us to reality” writes Sue Stuart-Smith in her book “The Well Gardened Mind.” This is a life affirming study of the special pleasures of tending your garden and growing things, from planting the seed to cropping home-grown vegetables and cooking delicious meals with them. Even watering & weeding are to be recommended by Sue as “watering is calming and strangely, when it is finished, you end up feeling refreshed, like the plants themselves.’ And the science backs this up. It’s been estimated that for every £1 spent by the NHS on gardening projects, £5 can be saved in reduced health costs. Gardening brings together the emotional, physical, social, vocational & spiritual aspects of life, boosting people’s mood and self-esteem.
Of course there are more extreme outdoor activities - hill walking may be your thing or even climbing mountains. And this shouldn’t feel like providing a guilt trip for those who prefer the indoors - one activity which has spiralled since Covid is the power of the kitchen disco, spearheaded by Sophie Ellis-Bextor and for that why not treat yourself to the ultimate kitchen disco design your own tshirt !